Service Award

The WBAI Service Award honors a distinguished WBAI member for exemplary achievement, whether through outstanding performance on a specific project or sustained excellence over a defined period. 

2024 Recipients


Chandler Caswell

June 27, 2024

Chandler Caswell is an attorney with Barnes & Thornburg LLP where she handles litigation matters for primarily pharmaceutical and medical device manufacturer clients in the areas of product liability and mass tort disputes. She also assists with review and analysis of product liability claims, medical records and related injury documentation.

Chandler is very involved with various different bar associations in Chicago, including being a co-chair of the Alliance for Women of the Chicago Bar Association and a member of the Young Lawyers Board of the Illinois State Bar Association. She earned her J.D. in 2020 from University of Illinois Chicago John Marshall School of Law and her B.A. from Arizona State University in 2016. In her free time, she enjoys playing pickleball and biking/walking around Chicago with her dog Poppy.

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América A. Guzmán

June 27, 2024

América is a corporate litigation associate at Esbrook P.C., a boutique commercial litigation firm in Chicago. Her practice focuses on complex commercial litigation, class action suits, Title IX and sexual harassment, breach of warranty/contract, products liability, tort claims, disputes arising out of corporate transactions, business litigation, insurance litigation, and environmental counseling and litigation. Her experience spans across the United States, in both State and Federal Courts.

A transplant from Detroit, América obtained her undergraduate degree from the University of Michigan and received her law degree from the University of Detroit Mercy, School of Law. América was previously an experienced boxing instructor and national public speaker and presenter. Her involvement with the WBAI includes co-chairing the Sports Law, Mental Health & Wellness, Golf Outing, Annual Dinner, and Young Lawyers Committees. She is honored to receive a Service Award for her work in furthering the WBAI’s mission—empowering women in the law.

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Blaire Theuerkauf

June 27, 2024

Blaire Theuerkauf is currently an attorney at Metra, where she provides legal guidance and support to Metra’s Board of Directors, executive team and staff. Prior to transitioning to an in-house role, Blaire gained extensive knowledge practicing civil litigation handling cases and issues related to negligence, employment, toxic tort, premise liability, product liability and complex construction.

Blaire earned her undergraduate degree from Augustana College before attending DePaul University College of Law. While in law school, Blaire served as the President of DePaul’s Women’s Bar Association, the Treasurer and Alumni Relations Chair for the Appellate Moot Court Society, and was the Managing Editor of Notes and Comments for DePaul’s Business and Commercial Law Journal.

Outside of the office, Blaire donates her time and attention to her church’s Administer Justice Center, as a justice champion and volunteer attorney. She also serves on Southside Center of Hope’s Young Professional Board.

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Erin M. Wilson

June 27, 2024

Erin founded the Law Office of Erin M. Wilson LLC in 2019 after practicing for 10 years at a preeminent family law firm where she was a partner. She focuses exclusively on family law cases which include divorce, custody/parenting issues, child support and maintenance, domestic violence and prenuptial agreements.

Erin sits on the boards of the Association of Family and Conciliation Courts and Decalogue Society, and is an active member of the WBAI and ISBA, including sitting on the Family Law Section Council and chairing Women & the Law. Erin is a founding member of the Illinois Association of Independent Attorneys, the Force of Lawyers Against Sexual Harassment, and the Lady Lawyers who Lunch. Erin has been named a Rising Star, Emerging Leader by Leading Lawyers, and Illinois Super Lawyers for multiple years. She received the ISBA Young Lawyer of the Year Award in 2016, Decalogue Society’s Intra Society Award in 2023, and the WBAI Top Women in Leadership Flexible Employer Award in 2023.

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2023 Recipients


Hayley Graham

May 31, 2023

Hayley Graham is the principal attorney of The Law Office of Hayley K. Graham, LLC, where she represents individuals in personal injury and workers’ compensation claims. She also provides a full range of legal services to meet her clients’ changing needs long after their injuries have healed. A fierce supporter of workers’ rights, her advocacy has been recognized by her peers. Hayley has been named a Super Lawyer Rising Star, a distinction given to only 2.5% of attorneys in Illinois, and an Illinois Emerging Lawyer, an accolade given to only 2% of attorneys under 40 practicing less than 10 years.

Hayley’s commitment to exposing injustice precedes her legal career. Prior to law school, Hayley was a journalist and part of an enterprise-reporting team that garnered the top award in Illinois for investigative reporting. In 2012, Hayley graduated from DePaul University College of Law, where she focused her studies on courtroom advocacy.

Hayley has since served as a mentor to DePaul law students. She has also been a guest coach for the mock trial team at a local high school. Most recently, she volunteered to help CPS seniors develop college admission and scholarship essays. Hayley previously served as the WBAI Secretary of Membership, and has also served as a Director on the WBAI board. She has been an active member of the WBAI for many years, and has co-chaired numerous events and committees, including the Annual Dinner, Judicial Reception, Newsletter and Mentorship.

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Tracey Schroeder

May 31, 2023

Tracey L. Schroeder is an associate attorney specializing in health care law. She previously practiced in several areas including condemnation, personal injury, contract disputes, insurance defense, property rights and government regulation and licensing.

Prior to her return to the practice of law, Tracey spent 20 years working in public relations, communications and marketing in Chicago. She has worked for both for-profit and non-profit organizations, including Northwestern University, the University of Chicago, the American Board of Medical Specialties and, most recently, the Chicago Teachers’ Pension Fund.

As a dedicated member of the WBAI, Tracey serves as a WBAI Director and also serves on several WBAI Committees, including Annual Dinner, Judicial Reception, Annual Golf Outing, and Newsletter Committee, where she serves as editor in chief of the WBAI Newsletter.

Tracey earned her undergraduate degree from Miami University, her MBA from Dominican University and her JD at the John Marshall Law School.

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Whitney K. Siehl

May 31, 2023

Whitney K. Siehl is a Plaintiffs’ litigator focused on class actions in the areas of sexual abuse, sexual harassment, antitrust, mass torts, consumer protection, environmental, and sports law at Hagens Berman Sobol Shapiro, LLP.

Whitney chaired the WBAI Annual Golf Outing since 2015 and hosts clinics teaching women to golf. She has chaired WBAI committees including the Judicial Reception, Annual Dinner, and Mentoring committee among many others.  She has served the WBAI board since 2017 and will serve as WBAI’s President for the 2023-2024 bar year. She enjoys volunteer marathon pace coaching and has completed numerous marathons and triathlons. She received her J.D., cum laude, from The Ohio State University, Moritz College of Law and her B.A. in English Literature from Northwestern University, where she was a member of the Northwestern Women’s Golf Team.

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2022 Recipients


Lauren Buford

June 16, 2022

Lauren Buford is Senior Counsel, Tort Litigation at Walgreens. Prior to joining Walgreens, Lauren gained nearly 15 years of litigation experience working in the public and private sectors including an Am Law 100 law firm and two municipal corporations. She was sworn in as a Director of the WBAI in June of 2021. She is currently the co-chair of the Diversity Committee and the Civil Litigation Committee. Additionally, Lauren is an adjunct professor at Loyola University Chicago School of Law.

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Sarah King

June 16, 2022

Sarah F. King is a partner and trial attorney at Clifford Law Offices, P.C. Sarah represents injured people and their families in personal injury and wrongful death actions. Sarah was elected Second Vice President of the Women’s Bar Association of Illinois (WBAI). She will ascend to President of the statewide organization for the 2024-25 term. Sarah also serves on the Illinois Trial Lawyers Association Board of Directors where she was a co-founder of its Women’s Caucus, which encourages female leadership within the profession and acts as a resource for the mentorship of young female trial attorneys.

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Soobin Lee

June 16, 2022

Soobin Lee, the Co-Chair of the Young Lawyers Committee, is an Associate Attorney at Wais, Vogelstein, Forman & Offutt, LLC. She represents victims of medical malpractice, with an emphasis on birth injury cases. Soobin is fluent in both English and Korean. She lives in the Wicker Park neighborhood of Chicago with her Goldendoodle, Roy.

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Kristine Schanbacher

June 16, 2022

Kristine Schanbacher is a senior managing associate of Dentons’ Litigation and Dispute Resolution practice. Her focus is on complex commercial litigation in both federal and state courts. She has experience in a wide variety of commercial disputes, including class action, contracts, media law, business torts, and insurance matters.

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Katherine Twardak

June 16, 2022

Katherine (“Katie”) Twardak is an attorney at Tomasik Kotin Kasserman, LLC, dedicated to representing those individuals and families in personal injury and wrongful death actions, including medical malpractice, premises liability, nursing home abuse, construction negligence and transportation negligence. Katie has been on the board of the WBAI for two years. She has served as Co-Chair of the Annual Dinner Committee, Judicial Reception Committee, Judicial Evaluation Committee and Civil Litigation Committee.

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2021 Recipients


Courtney Lindbert

Aug. 26, 2021


2020 Recipients


Diana Joseph

Sept. 20, 2020


2019 Recipients


Margaret P. Battersby Black

May 30, 2019


Genevieve E. Niemann

May 30, 2019


Courtney O. Wylie

May 30, 2019


2018 Recipients


Sara M. Davis

June 13, 2018


Jennifer L. Yu

June 13, 2018


2014 Recipients


RoxAnne Rochester (post humously)

June 6, 2014


Charlotte Adelman

June 6, 2014


Elsie Holzwarth

June 6, 2014